Tiffany Gabbay
October 19, 2008

Internal Revenue Service rules have opened up a back-door through which illegal immigrants can obtain an Individual Taxpayer Information Number (ITIN), which in turn helps them enter the U.S. credit market.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

The IRS uses ITINs to process tax payments owed by people who are not eligible for a Social Security Number. It is issued regardless of immigration status to people living both inside and outside the country.

Although the IRS states explicitly that ITINs are not to be used for any purpose other than tax administration, banks across the country are accepting ITINs to open new accounts and extend lines of credit to customers who are not eligible for a Social Security Number.

When asked by whether or not ITINs are being used by people for purposes other than tax filing, Dean Patterson, a spokesman for Internal Revenue Service (IRS), told “If a third party accepts an ITIN, we can’t speak to that.”

Patterson directed to the IRS Web site, which contains pertinent information about the ITIN application process. An IRS Web page on frequently asked questions about the ITIN says:

“ITINs are issued regardless of immigration status because both resident and nonresident aliens may have U.S. tax return and payment responsibilities under the Internal Revenue Code.”

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